How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Program near Afton 55001
Earning a physical therapist degree near Afton MN is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered along with location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Afton MN hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Afton MN medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Afton MN area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Afton MN home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Afton MN area and throughout Minnesota, you’ll need to research other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you select the school that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Afton MN physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school options. It may also be prudent to contact the Minnesota Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Afton MN area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Minnesota or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have relationships with Afton MN clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Afton health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Afton MN home. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and find out what type of help is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Afton MN area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Afton Minnesota?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Afton MN area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Afton is a city in Washington County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 2,886 at the 2010 census. It is located on a small bay where Valley Creek empties into the St. Croix River several miles north of the confluence with the Mississippi River.
Afton is well known for Afton Alps, the largest ski and snowboard area in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. It is also home to Afton State Park, a popular park on the St. Croix River. Due to these two destinations and the quaint small-town appearance in a major metropolitan area, Afton receives a fair amount of local tourism in the form of day trips. Jessica Diggins, 2018 U.S. Winter Olympic Gold Medalist cross country skier, hails from Afton.
Afton was platted in 1855, and named for the poem Sweet Afton by Robert Burns. A post office has been in operation at Afton since 1857. The city contains three properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places: the 1856 Erastus Bolles House, the 1864 Newington Gilbert House, and the 1867 Cushing Hotel.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Afton MN
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy school is an important initial decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Afton MN.
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